Personal and worshipful | Posted September-17-2020 What You Need to Know
For worship leader and speaker Tasha Layton, the road to discovering her artistry has been a long, exhilarating one. And the journey that’s led her to the present has been hard, exciting, painful and incredible all at the same time. From her small-town roots to being on the road with Katy Perry and working as an in-demand session singer in L.A. to moving to Nashville and recording her debut Christian album, Love Running Wild in 2019, Tasha’s story is as vibrant and strong as the singer herself. Into the Sea is her follow-up release and was preceded by the stirring title track.
What it Sounds Like
Into the Sea is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an inspirational and uplifting tone. The album tells the story of redemption and relying on God’s plans being higher than our plans as each song gives a glimpse of how Tasha offers her Psalm-like prayers to God. The reflective opener is a wonderful prayer-song capturing Tasha’s heart for God, allowing us to eavesdrop on her deep thoughts and musings about God’s goodness. Tasha’s engaging music and thought-provoking lyrics are something to truly savor, and her powerful vocals will remind you of some of my favorite up and coming artists, Riley Clemmons, Leanna Crawford and Caitie Hurst, both in vocal tone and subject matter.
A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song. Each of her songs are about proclaiming her dependence on God throughout this stirring album, which stirs my heart, mind and soul to bow before Jesus, our Savior. God’s promises us in His Word that His mercies are new every morning. Whatever situation you are facing you can know that God is with you, always. That truth is tenderly portrayed in “Good Things” as she prays, “I know that You have good things planned for me.” Many of the lyrics in “Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)” give me words to pray such as “Though the mountains may be moved into the sea/Though the ground beneath might crumble and give way/I can hear my Father singing over me/It’s gonna be ok,” which is especially comforting in this time of anxiety as we all face this pandemic together. These songs give insight into Tasha’s walk as a fellow believer.
Best Song on the Record
I generally rank my favorite songs based on how they move me emotionally. On this album, that's the acoustic recording of “Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok),” which I can't listen to without welling up. Tasha’s emotive and powerful vocals take listeners on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear the song, filled with truth. I also can’t get enough of the tender acoustic version of “Safe Here” and I lift my eyes and heart to Heaven every time I hear the song. You can sincerely sing these prayerful lyrics, and cling to the truth of these powerful songs. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Tasha tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus.
Tasha Layton is an anointed singer-songwriter, and she has a profound way of examining the deeper feelings buried in my heart and bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing and inspirational truths. If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God in times of hurting and pain, these songs are a wonderful companion. All the songs are memorable, personal and worshipful. The songs express her prayers to God allowing listeners to eavesdrop on her vertical offerings and captivating ballads, one of Tasha’s strengths. I get welled up singing along with several of the emotion-laden songs. Tasha’s tender and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings. She invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. She has captivating and catchy songs filled with inspirational lyrics. Tasha brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. This is truly a moving and prayerful album.
Album of the Year | Posted August-26-2020 What You Need to Know
South Carolina's Grammy-nominated band NEEDTOBREATHE hooked me 14 years ago with their major-label debut Daylight, which featured the single "Shine On." My takeaway review comments were "Great album. Even better group." Since then, the band has managed to improve their craft with each album, garner an opening slot for Taylor Swift, play on late-night television, and collaborate with Gavin DeGraw on one of their biggest hits to date, "Brother," from my Top Album of 2014, Rivers in the Wasteland. That album earned a Grammy nomination for "Multiplied" and features the standout song “Difference Maker.”In their album H A R D L O V E—my Top Album of 2016—the band subtly includes the reference to the dance of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE." After a four-year wait, the band is returning with the full-length album Out of Body in August 2020.
What it Sounds Like
This long-awaited new studio album has captivated my spirit. The album includes standout recordings like the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs anthems “Hang On,” “Alive” and “Survival,” along with the reflective vibe of “Who Am I,” “Banks” and “Seasons.” I have long been hooked by their enthusiastic songs, layered with a southern rock musical vibe. I've felt the band has improved with each new album. I can’t get enough of the emotional vocals and the sincere, enthusiastic and thought-provoking lyrics throughout the album, which has echoes of Rivers in the Wasteland both in content and musical vibe as the band has undergone a transformation to a trio-Bear Rinehart [vocals, guitar], Seth Bolt [bass, vocals], and Josh Lovelace [keys, vocals].
We're fearfully, wonderfully and perfectly made, which is expressed in the standout “Who Am I”: “Somehow You really love who I really am/I push You away/Still You won’t let go…Who am I to be loved by You? It's clear that the themes of relying on God's grace and mercy and seeking and speaking truth flows throughout this excellent album, highlighted by several of my new favorite songs, “Mercy’s Shore,” “Alive,” “Hang On,” and “Banks.” You'll be hooked right from the opening notes of "Mercy’s Shore," which really sets the tone for this album. As Christians, we can all relate to the vulnerable and sincere crying out: "One day we’ll wash up on mercy’s shore!”
Best Song on the Record
“Who Am I” is a daily prayer, asking God to come and change our hearts and our lives. Only Jesus can give us our identity. What a powerful expression of what it means to accept that God never leaves or forsakes us. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, inspirational lyrics throughout the album. There are several standout songs I can’t wait to hear in concert including “Alive,” “Survival” and “Riding High.” If you've always enjoyed NEEDTOBREATHE’s soulful anthems, you're in for a treat with this album. It has a great balance of upbeat rockers and reflective songs. Many of these songs express my emo feelings, and yet remind me that I wasn't made for this world. These songs will have you singing along in one listen. “Banks” connects deeply with the lyrics, “I wanna be there when the darkness closes in/To make the truth a little clearer/I wanna hold you close but never hold you back/I'll be the banks for your river.”
NEEDTOBREATHE consistently makes songs that remind us to get to that place where we're in humble submission to God. Don't play it safe. Ask for God to be real in your life. You'll never see true beauty if you don't fully submit to God. This is one of my top albums of the year from both the Christian and mainstream music markets. They have long been my favorite band. I truly enjoy their entire catalog and especially their stand-out hit songs "Something Beautiful," "Happiness" and "Multiplied." If you like those songs, you'll love this new album. Out of Body is one of the catchiest, most energetic and emotionally engaging albums I've heard this year and is my album of the year.
Trust the voice that speaks | Posted August-19-2020 What You Need to Know
Following up on her stellar debut single, “Peace Be Still,” singer Hope Darst has released an excellent debut album, featuring an empowering theme of the Lord reigning in our hearts. We're called to “start over again” as referenced in the moving closing track which also declares the thesis statement of the album, “you don’t have to be afraid.” The album gives listeners words to “sing my way through” trials with declarations like, "You are a promise keeper/Your word will never fail/My heart can trust You, Jesus/I won't be overwhelmed."
What it Sounds Like
Peace Be Still is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an ethereal tone. If you enjoy Where His Light Was by Kristene DiMarco, House on a Hill by Amanda Lindsey Cook and Forever Amen by Steffany Gretzinger, this album is an excellent addition to your praise and worship collection.
Hope has impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. Hope and I have spoken for a Behind the Song devotional about “Peace Be Still” from this album. Hope co-wrote the song with songwriters Mia Fieldes and Andrew Holt. It's based on many scriptures where the Lord tells us, “Do not be afraid,” and comes right from Mark 4:39 (NIV): “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song. Each song is about proclaiming her dependence on God throughout this incredible worship experience, which stirs my heart, mind, and soul to bow before Jesus, our Savior. The album is designed to be listened to in track order as you’ll go on the journey with Hope from “Set Free” with the confession-“I’ve been washed clean/You call me whole, saved and redeemed/I’ve been set free,” to the closer “Start Over” with the declaration, ”Let it all come to an end/We can start over again/You’re not broken/There’s just things I want to mend/We can start over again.”
Best Song on the Record
I can’t get enough of “Peace Be Still.” It sets the tone for the entire worship experience with the beautiful declaration of dependence in the chorus of God’s provision in our lives: “I don't want to fear the storm/Peace be still/Say the word and I will set my feet upon the sea.” I get swept up in the vertical praise and worship to our Savior. I am moved by the reminders that we don’t have to be afraid and once we are redeemed by Jesus we can declare, “Even when my eyes can’t see/I will trust the Voice that speaks.”
Peace Be Still is about proclaiming the majesty of God and crying out in awe and wonder for His presence. Each song is memorable, personal, and worshipful. These moving and reverent recordings are prayers and personal confessions of submission to God. They are poignant songs of adoration. Every song is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. Hope’s powerful and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings. She invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. The standout songs each feature an engaging and emotive musical style while phrasing her prayer-filled songs in a creative and personal way, making it one of my top worship albums of the year.
Longing for Jesus | Posted June-25-2020 What You Need to Know:
Fearless BND is a movement that was started by Christy and Jeremy Johnson (formerly known as Worth Dying For). Their second album, Love Riot was released in February 2011. Fear Not was preceded by the singles, “Mas Amor” and “Can’t Get Enough” and is the follow up to their 2017 album We Are Fearless which featured “Jump Around” and “The Anticipation.” Talking about the move to LA, Pastor Jeremy shared, "Fear had been something we'd both battled with our entire lives, and yet we felt called to the dreamers, to those crushed by their dreams, to those chasing their dreams, those with dead dreams... to people who had moved to LA from all over the world to pursue the arts, entertainment, education, entrepreneurship–to not just be a safe haven, but a dream factory, helping broken people dare to dream again."
What it Sounds Like:
I love how the music of these songs matches the excitement being expressed lyrically as in the “dance like nobody’s watching” rhythmic grooves of “Can’t Get Enough,” “Won it All” and “Let Go.” Our God is worthy of all our praise, and we'll be singing and dancing before Him for eternity. These songs give believers a foretaste of that celebration. One of my favorite things about "singing a new song to the Lord" is that the idea of worship in Heaven is an exciting picture for me, and that's the glimpse that we gain from these high energy songs. It delighted God that David, a man after God's own heart, danced unashamed before the Lord. These upbeat songs and worshipful ballads are all examples of being obedient to that calling to make God the object of all our worship.
I love how the Lord is bringing up worship leaders who are unashamed of the Gospel and are about proclaiming the Truth of God's Word. These are great messages and songs for us to celebrate our freedom based on our faith in Christ Jesus. It is also commanded by Jesus in Matthew 5:16 to "let your light shine" so that others may praise God based on seeing the power of His life in us. The anthemic ballad “At Your Name” has tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God Almighty, our Lord and Savior, Jesus. The lyrics are very stirring and convicting, inspired by Philippians 2:9-10. You’ll get swept up in the biblical and Jesus-centered cries of worship, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” That theme is also found in “More of You,” with the refrain, “Jesus we long for more/in all of the earth/in awe/all of Your goodness/all of Your grace/Jesus we want more.”
Best Song on the Record:
There are several standout songs on the album including “Can’t Get Enough” and “Won it All.” “Fear Not” is an instant classic. “More of You” stirs my heart into an immediate state of worship. “Victorious” is biblical and congregational. A song that I can’t get out of my head is “At Your Name” so I’ll highlight that song as the must-download track, but you’ll want the whole album. A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song, especially the tracks “Not A Chance” and “Victorious” which are both instantly sing-able prayer songs featuring declarations about Jesus.
We gain glimpses of eternity from this collection of worship songs. Sometimes people think that worship is something they do at an event or at church or only through music. We know from Scripture, that worship is what you put your worth-ship in, and that a biblical definition of worship is a lifestyle where we can live out the words of “Fear Not,” and know with certainty, “We are fearless in His love.” I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. All the songs are catchy and worshipful. Fear Not is a truly anointed set of songs for the Church expressing a deep longing for Jesus.
Following a five year wait after her album Be One, it’s exciting to hear new music from Natalie Grant. Following her hit song, “My Weapon,” this is the second single from her upcoming new album, No Stranger, which releases August 28th. In her imaginative and stirring version of “Praise You in this Storm,” originally released by Casting Crowns, she lays out her need for Jesus. This song showcases Natalie’s shimmering, emotion-laden voice. Natalie has consistently impressed me with her mature faith, and a sincere desire for the presence of God. This song is ultimately about proclaiming our dependence on God, which stirs my heart, mind and soul to seek Jesus in this coronavirus storm that we are all facing.
What it Sounds Like:
From the beginning, Natalie Grant has had a desire to make music that matters, that stretches beyond entertainment and stretches the parameters of popular worship music. She strives to be a listener first, and then to create music that reflects the Gospel and communicates honest experiences in a fresh and artful way. Natalie slays me with her confessional and prayerful vocal style. This song is in the worshipful style of “Your Great Name.” Give this version of “Praise You in this Storm” a few deep listens and you'll love it. I hang on every single word and the stirring vocals, prayerful lyrics and musical arrangements are breath-taking. This worship anthem captivates me with its honesty and stirring lyrics. The song has quickly become a prayerful anthem in my daily devotional time with the worshipful lyrics,“And I'll praise You in this storm/And I will lift my hands/That You are who You are/No matter where I am!”
I love how prayers and songs of praise are a communal experience that we can all share. I think the Lord wants us to long for Heaven. When we've been indwelled by the Holy Spirit, we have a personal relationship with the Comforter and a peace that surpasses understanding to know that this fallen world isn't all that we are living for, ultimately. “Praise You in this Storm” is a worshipful response to our Savior reflecting the blessed hope of someone who understands the Good News of grace. The Psalm 121-based bridge gives me comfort every time I hear it as Natalie passionately sings, “I lift my eyes unto the hills/Where does my help come from?/My help comes from the Lord/The maker of heaven and earth.”
“Praise You in this Storm” is one of the most spine-tingling female led worship songs I've experienced this year, and this version is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. Natalie sings with an amazing passion, with unashamed praise and gratitude to our Savior that is very inspiring and emotionally moving. All her songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics. This song is filled with overwhelming biblical truth and is a companion in my personal prayer and worship time. I'm moved by this prayerful song. The song proclaims my heart's cry to worship Jesus, no matter what I’m going through. As we deal with the uncertainty of the economy and our health in this coronavirus crisis, this song is balm for the soul.
Soul-stirring and stunning | Posted May-12-2020 What You Need to Know:
For more than a decade, Jillian Edwards—who now resides in Nashville with her husband, Will, drummer for indie rock band Colony House, and their daughter, Willow Faye—has consistently written and recorded music through the lens of faith. Jillian says, “I want to provide healing, and that for me comes in beauty. So that’s the heart of these songs. I really want them to be medicine for hurting people, and that’s everyone. If my biggest dream for Meadow comes true, it would be that someone who is walking through the worst day of their life could hear these songs and have peace take over their heart knowing that God is crazy about them, and He works all things together for good.”
What it Sounds Like:
Meadow is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an ethereal tone. If you enjoy Where His Light Was by Kristene DiMarco, Evergreen by Audrey Assad, and Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb, this album is an excellent addition to your music collection. Jillian’s engaging music and thought-provoking lyrics are something to truly savor, and her soothing vocals will remind you of some of my favorite gourmet artists, Ellie Holcomb, JJ Heller, and Audrey Assad, both in vocal tone and subject matter.
A sincere desire for the presence of God and to see His Kingdom on earth is found in every song. Each of her songs are about proclaiming her dependence on God throughout this incredible worship experience, which stirs my heart, mind and soul to bow before Jesus, our Savior. The album is designed to be listened to in track order as you’ll go on the journey with Jillian from the opener “Whisper Hymn” and the title track “Meadow” with the Psalm 23 inspired prayer, “I need only to breathe in Your love” to the closer “Mighty God” with the confession, “Mighty God/I will follow You/You keep me safe in the palm of Your hand.” I am moved by the spiritual and peaceful tone of the songs. The chorus of “Heaven’s Eyes” soothes my soul, “Speak over me/tell me again that I’m someone You love/let it sink in/tell me a million times/who I am in Heaven’s eyes.” Many of the lyrics in “Trusted” give me words to pray such as “This is where You can be trusted,” which is especially comforting in this time of anxiety as we all face this pandemic together. These songs give insight into Jillian’s walk as a fellow believer.
Best Song on the Record:
I generally rank my favorite songs based on how they move me emotionally. On this album, that’s every song. I can’t listen to “Weak, Proudly” without welling up. Jillian’s tender, emotive and powerful vocals take listeners on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear the song, filled with truth. I can’t get enough of “Heaven’s Eyes” and I lift my eyes and heart to Heaven every time I hear the song. For me, "Heaven’s Eyes" provides an opportunity for God to whisper your true identity – not found in what you do or don't do, but in who you are – more importantly to whom you belong. You'll be worshipping right along with Jillian. You can sincerely sing these prayerful lyrics, and cling to the truth of these powerful songs. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Jillian tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus.
Jillian Edwards is an anointed singer-songwriter, and she has a profound way of examining the deeper feelings buried in my heart and bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing and inspirational truths. If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God in times of hurting and pain, these songs are a wonderful companion. All the songs are memorable, personal and worshipful. These moving and reverent recordings are all prayers and personal confessions of submission to God and they are poignant songs of adoration. Every song is completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. Jillian’s tender and gorgeous vocals keep me hanging on every word she sings. She invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. The standout songs each feature an engaging and emotive musical style while phrasing her prayer-filled songs in a creative and personal way, making it one of my top albums of the year.
Redemptive and Moving | Posted March-25-2020 What You Need to Know:
Louisiana-based singer/songwriter Brooke Robertson is releasing her full-length debut album Taking My Voice Back on March 27. Produced by Jeremy Holderfield, the 11-song set—all co-penned by Robertson—showcases buoyant, country-tinged pop anthems alongside poignant ballads, each song a testament to the hope, healing and joy that Robertson is embracing along her journey. It has been one of my missions in sharing the biblical truth behind songs by Christians to help women who are bombarded with negative messages about their identity and purpose to know that their true identities and purpose is found in God.
What it Sounds Like:
The album kicks off with Brooke’s desire to edify and build up believers with her anointed voice and transparent faith. In that way, opening song “Just Be You” reflects her heartbeat to sing about where identity comes from, “Just be you, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, there’s no one else just like you, just be you, you’re beautiful just the way you are.” Brooke’s songwriting is real, honest, and vulnerable. The singer herself is positive, determined, and confident as expressed in “Whatever Happens Happens” and “The Real Me.” She understands that true happiness only comes from her relationship with God which these songs perfectly portray. All the songs have excellent messages, flawlessly delivered by Brooke’s sweet and sincere vocals layered over textured and powerful musical arrangements.
I am very moved by the personal song “Wait and See.” The song is an emotive and poetic song with Brooke singing to her younger self. You'll be hanging on every word Brooke sings. Brooke’s tender, emotive and powerful vocals take listeners on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear this song, filled with truth such as, “I know the wounds that you’re hiding, just promise me you’ll keep trying, it makes you stronger, just wait and see, where you are and where you’re going has a purpose.” The bridge of “Just Be You” lays out the truths of who we are in Christ, “Unique, complete, there’s nothing missing, He doesn’t make mistakes.” I'm emotionally moved by “Taking My Voice Back.” In the song, Brooke movingly decides to provide forgiveness to her childhood abuser after holding it in for fifteen years, singing, “Gonna learn to forgive you, you’ve taken enough, though I feel alone here, I know that I’m not, I’m taking my voice back.” You won’t be able to listen to the song without getting choked up. I have three daughters and this song moves me deeply. These songs all give insight into Brooke’s walk as a fellow believer.
Best Song on the Record:
This album is filled with several of my new favorite songs, especially the standout title track. I generally rank my favorite songs based on how they move me emotionally. On this album, that includes the songs, “Wait and See,” “Why Are You Waiting” and “Purpose for the Pain,” which is from Brooke to her mother about her difficult pregnancy, singing, “there’s a reason for all this, maybe that’s enough to get you through.” I can’t listen to “Taking My Voice Back” without welling up. You’ll get emotionally swept up in her memorial tribute to her great-grandmother, “See You Here’s” lyrics “my heart skipped a beat, when yours left me...I can’t roll back time to relive all those years, but I can still see you here.” “Taking My Voice Back” is the standout song on this standout project. Watch the emotional music video.
From my first listen, I was totally captivated by this album. I'm really engaged by Brooke’s emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. For me, Brooke brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. There are no filler tracks, and this is easily one of my top albums of the year. These are very passionate songs sung with vocal sincerity. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Brooke tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul. These are truly poignant songs and this album is redemptive and moving. Brooke Robertson is an anointed singer-songwriter, and she has a profound way of examining the deeper feelings buried in my heart and bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing and inspirational truths. If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God in times of hurting and pain, these songs are a wonderful companion. I get welled up singing along with several of the emotion-laden songs.
Hope in the Hard Times | Posted March-19-2020 What You Need to Know:
Ever since I heard Jason Gray's "Blessed Be," from his album, All the Lovely Losers, I was hooked by the emotional and biblical messages of his songs. Last year, Jason released his new EP, Order, the first of three five-song EPs Jason Gray will release over the next year. The names of each EP are "Order," "Disorder," and "Reorder." Jason plans to tell a story of the process of transformation in three five-song volumes. Order featured the hit songs, "I'm Gonna Let it Go" and "Order Disorder Reorder." Disorder EP was preceded by the hit song, “Remind Me You’re Here,” and releases March 20.
Jason Gray is an anointed songwriter and singer. He has a profound way of piercing my soul with his poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. Like his previous releases, the album's central theme is about finding our identity in Christ, being honest and transparent with ourselves and others to allow God's grace to shine in our lives by demonstrating how in our weakness, His strength is made perfect.
What it Sounds Like:
Gray can really write a hooky and truth-filled chorus and lead single “Remind Me You’re Here” is catchy, relevant and worshipful like his previous hit songs “Remind Me Who I Am” and "Learning." The song is a great confession of faith. “Honesty” features Jason’s tender and powerful vocals and takes listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey like his heart-wrenching song, “Not Right Now.” Every lyric is sung about faith in our God Almighty sprinkled in with Jason’s clever and personal lyrics taking listeners on an emotional journey. If you’ve always liked Jason Gray’s brand of “gourmet” songs, this album will absolutely connect with you.
“Fight For You” reminds us, “The Lord will fight for you, You need only to be still, trust that God will fight for you.” Other spiritual highlights include “Through,” “New Song” and “Remind Me You’re Here.” The poignant “Honesty” is a stirring song with a convicting Psalm-like declaration: “I gave You my heart so tell me why is it broken? What do You want from me? Are You sure You want everything, even my honesty?" Like previous Jason Gray albums, these songs are all filled with spiritual truth. The hope of the Gospel is heard loud and clear. “Hard Times Prelude” ties the album’s theme of God’s never-ending faithfulness, grace and hope in the hard times that runs through the album.
Best Song on the Record:
I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album, especially the chorus of “New Song” which features Blanca—“Cause I need a new song, a You’re gonna see me through song, a get me to that shore song.” Those prayerful words capture the hopeful tone for these songs that are filled with the truth of God’s unending grace in our disorder. “Through” is an especially beautiful song. The faith anthem is the cry of my heart, “I can’t keep pretending everything’s okay, I need You to lead me through.” There are several stand-out songs, and my favorite song “Remind Me You’re Here” is a gorgeous offering of praise to the only One who has power to save. It is a very sing-able song, and I love singing the Book of Job-inspired introspective lyrics, “I won't ask You for reasons, 'Cause a reason can't wipe away tears, No, I don't need all the answers, Just be here beside me, Father, remind me You're here.”
With a probing spiritual curiosity and imaginative, self-examining lyrics, this album once again solidifies Gray’s place among the finest song crafters of his day. Gray’s poignant songwriting is coupled with musical excellence as each song urges me to better see God. This album is sure to connect with all listeners who like catchy songs filled with truth and yearning for God. Jason invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way, you’ll feel like you are a lifelong friend after you hear this album. Once again, Jason has invited listeners into his story of faith. Each song features his unique brand of lyrical phrasing, embedded with the truth of the Gospel for those "with ears to hear." Jason is one of my favorite Christian music singer-songwriters. His songs are so emotional, vulnerable and authentic. If you like singer-songwriters who wear their hearts on their sleeves and sing about the truth of what it means to walk with God and work out their salvation with fear and trembling, then don't miss out on one of Christian music's most treasured artists. Disorder is sure to be one of my top albums of the year.
Catchy and Empowering | Posted March-04-2020 What You Need to Know:
Love & the Outcome is made up of husband and wife duo Jodi King and Chris Rademaker. They made an immediate mark on the CCM scene with their debut album, featuring hit songs "He is With Us" and "King of My Heart." That album chronicled their journey of having departed their homeland of Canada and risking it all to pursue their musical dreams. Many of the songs reflect the need to rely completely on God's sovereignty to guide their "outcome." The duo returned with their sophomore offering These Are the Days, which was preceded by the hit song "The God I Know." You Got This once again showcases not only the band’s gifts as songwriters, but Jodi’s shimmering, emotion-laden voice. She is a great role model for girls. The songs address the pressures of life and express that true happiness and identity only comes from our relationship with God.
What it Sounds Like:
“You Got This” is an engaging song with Jodi’s passionate vocals setting the tone for this exceptional album. Several of Love & the Outcome’s songs over the years are accessible pop and worship songs that are deep in meaning and content and this album is no exception. So many people can relate to the messages of these songs. The standout songs also include “Where You Are” and “Moving On.” All these songs and their dependence on God have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God and our identity in Him as His sons and daughters.
Jodi and Chris have consistently impressed me with their mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. You'll be blessed by the powerful songs which are all stand-out anthems with convicting declarations including: "I don’t know the way, but You got this, Give me the faith, that You got this, even today, You got this, I know that I know that I know that You got this!” The message of “You Got This” is based on several biblical truths, including 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Whatever struggle or depression you are facing, you can know that God is with you, always. The comfort and rest offered by Jesus is beautifully captured in “Moving On.” Jodi beautifully depicts the message of identity that we all need to hear, “Your second chances never end, I’m moving on, guilt has had its grip on me for way too long.”
Best Song on the Record:
“Where You Are” takes me on an emotional journey that causes me to excitedly worship along with the stirring lyrics every time I hear the song. In our society filled with the fear of missing out and comparison being the thief of joy, this anthem is the cry of my heart with the much-needed call to action message for Christians: “I’ve learned the grass ain’t greener on the other side, life’s where You are, it’s right where You are.” “You Got This” is another standout anthem, reminding us that “I know it’s true, I can count on You!” The message of “Moving On” in Christ is found in the closing track, which celebrates, “This will be my freedom song, Hallelujah, because of You, I’m moving on!”
I absolutely love this band’s intentionality and complete focus on God's provision in their lives. These songs all have biblically based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics found in these songs. Jodi’s vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus. There are several personal songs that melt my heart, especially “Falling Into Place,” “Imperfect” and “Moving On.” If you like female singers that make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, You Got This is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a solid upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages.
Awe and Wonder of Jesus | Posted February-20-2020 What You Need to Know:
From my first listen, I was totally captivated by this album, Glorious by Jordan and Jessa Anderson. This album focuses on the central themes of asking God to inhabit our inner being and truly allow the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, along with relying solely on the love of Jesus to mold our hearts and make us more like Him. Previous releases Not Myself Anymore and Whole by Jessa Anderson were both ranked in my top 10 albums of the year. As a couple, their experience over the past 12 years of leading others in song and performing their original music, combined with their time in ministry to the local church, has given them a unique love for church music and encouraging others in the gospel through song.
What it Sounds Like:
Glorious is best described as an intimate personal worship experience with an ethereal tone. If you enjoy All Sons and Daughters, Brian and Jenn Johnson and The McClures, this album is an excellent addition to your praise and worship collection. Many of the songs are arranged in a very sing-able and catchy style. "All That Is Needed" and “Loved As Jesus” are gorgeous and worshipful songs. Jordan and Jessa have a passion to make creative music that inspires the worship of Jesus Christ and to point listeners to Him. The theme of emptying ourselves in order to be filled by the Holy Spirit and celebrating God’s great grace is found in every song.
“I Cannot Outrun Your Grace” features an engaging and soothing musical style. The song includes a refrain for the believer looking for words to express their devotion, “You’re always with me, You’ll never leave me.” I’m really engaged by Jordan and Jessa’s emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. The theme of trusting God completely weaves through all the songs, a message that all believers need to hear. I greatly enjoy the musical vibe of this album and the melodies and lyrics are all catchy and rooted in Scripture. “Glorious” lifts high the name of Jesus with the refrain, “Long for His coming, when all things are made new, rejoice, You are making us glorious.” The creative use of biblical language is a highlight and there are no ambiguous lyrics, which is great for the Church to boldly proclaim praises to Jesus. Jordan and Jessa sing songs with an amazing passion, with unashamed praise and gratitude to our Savior that is very inspiring and emotionally moving. All these songs are poignant and powerful with earnest, worshipful lyrics.
Best Song on the Record:
I can’t get enough of the stand-out song “I Cannot Outrun Your Grace.” The tender, emotive and powerful vocals take listeners on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear the song. The lyrics are very stirring. "All That is Needed" is a great new worship anthem which I hope I'll be singing with fellow believers. I really love how expressive these songs are. These are all stand-out tracks filled with overwhelming biblical truth, and they are companions in my personal prayer and worship time.
Glorious is sure to be one of the top worship albums of the year. These are an excellent set of songs that focus on asking God to truly inhabit our inner being and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, relying solely on the love of Jesus to mold our hearts and make us more like Him. Each of these songs are about proclaiming dependence on God throughout this incredible worship experience, which stirs my heart, mind and soul to bow before Jesus, our Savior. The album is designed to be listened to in track order as you’ll go on the journey from the opener “I Cannot Outrun Your Grace” to the closer “Only On Grace I Stand.” These moving and reverent recordings are all prayers and personal confessions of submission to God. These are great songs to pray along with these anointed worship leaders and express your own yearnings for holiness and God’s presence. Glorious is about proclaiming the majesty of God and crying out in awe and wonder for His Presence throughout this incredible worship experience. This album is a must-have for your praise and worship collection.